Trademarks and Brands The Potential Paved Road to Protecting Highly Descriptive and Generic Terms Combined with Top-Level Domain Extensions

by Lee J. Eulgen and Bari L. Nathan, Guest Bloggers on Tuesday, 20 March, 2018

A word or logo can only function as a trademark if it is distinctive (i.e., capable of identifying and distinguishing the goods and services with which it is used from others’ goods and services) and, as most readers of this blog will readily recognize, a trademark’s distinctiveness ranges along a spectrum, sometimes called a hierarchy of marks. In order from least distinctive to most distinctive, the categories of distinctiveness are: generic, descriptive, suggestive, arbitrary, and fanciful. 

Marks that are suggestive, arbitrary, or fanciful are deemed sufficiently distinct to automatically function as trademarks. Descriptive marks, on the other hand, are not considered inherently distinctive, and can only function as a trademark if they have obtained secondary meaning (also known as acquired distinctiveness) in the minds of consumers. Generic terms are common identifiers for a type or category of product or service (e.g., “E-MAIL” used to identify an e-mail service, or “FITNESS CENTER” used to identify fitness centers or gyms) and, as such, the law does not allow these types of terms to be protected as proprietary to one party and registered as trademarks. This treatment of generic terms is based on the principle that people and companies deserve the right to accurately identify and describe their products and services, and granting a single party an exclusive right to a generic term would unfairly impede competition. 

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Topics: domains, trademark

Corsearch New gTLD Update: .APP, .DEV, .BOATS, .TH, and More

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 15 March, 2018

This update includes news about .APP, .DEV, .BOATS, .TH, .書籍, and .BOT.

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Topics: nGTLDs, domains

Australian Brewer Files Trademark Application for the Color of Beer

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

There aren't many trademark registrations for colors in Australia, but now a brewing company has filed a trademark application for Pantone 142—an amber color resembling the color of beer—in the category of beer and ale.

The East 9th Brewing Co. uses the phrase "The Colour of Beer" on its beer cans, and, recently, one of its related companies filed a trademark application for the slogan.

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Topics: trademark

Goldman Sachs Sends Cryptocurrency Exchange Bitman Sachs Trademark Infringement Notification

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 13 March, 2018

US finance company Goldman Sachs has sent a notice to an Indian company that operates Bitman Sachs, a cryptocurrency exchange, claiming that it is infringing intellectual property rights and violating trademark norms, according to The Economic Times.

Bitman Sachs LLP operated a website called The company's founder said: “We are not using Goldman anywhere in our brand name and Sachs is a very common surname in Germany. … So I don't know how this could be an infringement of intellectual property or trademark.” 

The notification sent by Goldman Sachs to Bitman Sachs raised concern about a likelihood of confusion, stating: “The infringing mark is intended for use in connection with related services as those provided by Goldman Sachs. The infringing mark is thus clearly intended to draw an association with your cryptocurrency (business), on the one hand and… Goldman Sachs on the other hand.” 

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Topics: domains, trademark infringement

Trade Association Awarded Damages in Hotel Poaching Case

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 8 March, 2018

A US trade association has been awarded damages in a trademark infringement case against a travel agency that sent unsolicited emails to tradeshow attendees and exhibitors representing that it was affiliated with the tradeshow.

A US district court ordered Tarzango to pay the US Poultry & Egg Association more than $700,000 in damages and attorney’s fees for infringing the trademark of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), an organization that US Poultry partners with to organize its tradeshow.

Tarzango sent unsolicited emails to IPPE exhibitors and attendees advertising hotel accommodations for its annual tradeshow. IPPE had a contract with Experient to manage accommodations for the show.

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Topics: trademarks, trademark infringement


The title says it all. This is a blog about trademarks and brands, expanding the expertise and resources you’ve come to expect from Corsearch. From expert research tips to the inside scoop on productivity solutions, join the conversation about trademarks and brands.

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